Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol.60, No.9, 2087-2096, 2020
In-line characterization of dispersion uniformity evolution during a twin-screw blending extrusion based on near-infrared spectroscopy
Properties of an immiscible polymer blend have been proved to be closely related to dispersion uniformity of the minor phase. At present, dispersion uniformity is difficult to evaluate during the blending process, resulting in hysteretic feedback. Aiming at this problem, this work utilized near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to in-line characterize dispersion uniformity evolution during a twin-screw extrusion. A multichannel NIR measurement system was set up and applied to evaluate the blending process of polypropylene and polyolefin elastomer (POE). Based on the NIR spectra collected at different positions of the extruder, five prediction models of POE content were established using the light gradient boosting machine algorithm. Dispersion uniformity was characterized through the fluctuation of the predicted content. The evolution of dispersion under such processing parameters was consistent with scanning electron microscopy.